Is Waterless Beauty The Wave Of The Future?

Water makes up a majority of the Earth, our bodies and even our personal-care products, yet going waterless is a burgeoning beauty trend. Water has become a precious commodity (especially as large cities like Mexico City and Cape Town in South Africa literally face running out), and several brands are flexing their eco-friendly muscles by eliminating this ingredient from their products all together. The result: Minimizing the impact skincare has on the environment.

But what does this mean for our skin? Believe it or not, waterless products offer a bevy of beauty benefits. Since there’s no way to ensure the purity of the water used in products, waterless skincare eliminates this worry. Even more, too much water in your routine can actually increase dryness since water evaporates from the skin and hair (taking natural oils along with it). But most importantly, waterless skincare is ideal for sensitive skin, because high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, heavy metals and chlorine (which are commonly found in water) can lead to sensitivity and irritation. Oh, and without water to dilute skincare formulations, you potentially get more potent products.

Mahalo The Unveil Cleanser Melt Concentrate
This concentrated plant-based cream offers a deep-cleanse plus the skin-nurturing benefits of biocompatible oils, anti-inflammatory botanicals, a slew of antioxidants and gently exfoliating enzymes—without wasting water. Ideal for congested and stressed skin, it provides an aromatherapeutic experience that effectively removes makeup, pollution and other impurities while balancing oil and promoting the skin’s natural regenerative process. Priced at $70/50ml and $120/100ml; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: Mahalo Skin Care

Allies of Skin Vitamin C 35% Collagen Rebuilding Serum
Vitamin C is like liquid gold for the skin, so the last thing you want is water to dilute its potency. This unique waterless serum blends two powerful forms of vitamin C along with extra free-radical-fighting power courtesy of superoxide dismutase and glutathione for ultimate antioxidant protection. You also get the proven brightening, collagen-stimulating and anti-aging benefits associated with the “sunshine vitamin” with a lightweight texture that absorbs in a flash. Priced at $118; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: Allies of Skin

True Botanicals Renew Repair Serum
Formulated to hydrate, plump and illuminate dry or aging skin while you sleep, this potent yet all-natural water-free serum features ceramides to reinforce the skin’s barrier, antioxidants to ward off environmental damage and peptides to enhance firmness. And if that weren’t enough to make you click “Add to Cart,” imagining the delicate jasmine-neroli-rose scent should be. Priced at $140; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: True Botanicals

Chantecaille Rose de Mai Face Oil
The star of this serum is the rare Rose de Mai, which only blooms in the Grasse region of France for three short weeks each year. Lauded for its high concentration of antioxidants, this exquisite extract is combined with ultra-pure plant oils, Chilean tree bark, paracress, winged kelp (and not a drop of water) to visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles, boost skin brightness, enhance firmness and restore an even-toned, radiant complexion. Priced at $186; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: Chantecaille

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
Looks can be deceiving, because this beautiful, blue, waterless balm instantly transforms into a soothing, hydrating, skin-healing oil upon contact with the skin. Whether used all over the face, neck and chest or as a spot treatment for sensitive, irritated spots (including breakouts), it owes its effectiveness to blue tansy, a calming natural botanical that relieves inflammation when applied topically and reduces anxiety and tension when used as aromatherapy. The result: Calm skin and a calm mind—but remember that a little goes a long way (and it’s best applied to wet skin twice a day for optimal results). Priced at $180; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: May Lindstrom

Retrouvé Revitalizing Eye Concentrate
Serving up unmatchable hydration, line-smoothing, anti-aging protection and overall eye-area rejuvenation, it doesn’t get much better than this ultra-concentrated waterless balm. Bursting with squalane, cholesterol esters (lipids found naturally in the skin), vitamin E, vitamin C, retinol, morinda citrifolia (a member of the coffee family for the de-puffing benefits of caffeine) and padina pavonica (an algae that thrives under extreme environmental conditions), you’ll fall in love with the texture and the improvement you’ll see before—and around—your very eyes. Priced at $250 for 15mL/$415 for 30mL; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: Retrouvé

Miage Skincare Bloom La Milpa Lip Treatment
With a waterless yet hydrating formula that works double-duty as a gorgeous gloss and overnight treatment, you just might find yourself wearing this lippie 24 hours a day. The lovely, light-reflecting pink tint imparts a subtle shimmer while giving lips a healthy glow, as sesame oil helps heal chapping and alleviate dryness. (It can also be layered over lipstick to provide a steady stream of moisture and add a little extra dimension.) Priced at $39; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: Miage Skincare

Christophe Robin Shampoo Bar
The benefits of waterless skincare aren’t limited to your vanity, and perhaps it’s time to consider making your shower a bit eco-friendlier. This concentrated solid shampoo is gentle enough for frequent use on the hair (and body!) thanks to its hydrating blend of aloe vera, glycerin and castor oil—and lack of parabens, silicones and sulfates. Just think how much extra room you’ll have in your shower without all of those bottles, and with zero chance of leaking or spillage it’s perfect for travel! Priced at $22; click here for more information or to purchase.

Photo credit: Christophe Robin